Tips for living well with diabetes
You can greatly reduce your risk for health problems associated with diabetes by taking care of yourself and working with your diabetes care team
. Use the below tips as a guideline for living well with diabetes.
- Choose healthful foods. Select low-fat and low-sugar food items. Include fresh vegetables, fruits and whole grains, especially those high in fiber. Pay attention to proper portions to maintain a healthy diet and control weight gain.
- Eat regularly. Being with a sensible breakfast and space your food intake throughout the day by having smaller, more frequent meals. Snacks can also help maintain blood sugar levels.
- Exercise daily. Aerobic exercises – walking, jogging or cycling – are recommended for people with diabetes. A good fitness program can promote heart health and reduce insulin resistance. Check with your doctor to see which exercise is best for your lifestyle.
- Take prescribed medications. Take all medications as directed. Use a pill organizer to remind you which pills to take and when to take them.
- Get help for depression. If you are feeling down or isolated from friends and family, talk to your doctor. Reducing depression symptoms can help improve blood sugar levels.
- Check your blood glucose. Ask your doctor how often you should check your blood sugar levels. Become aware of what affects your levels so you can catch problems early.
- Prevent sores. Check your feet regularly for blisters, cuts and sores. Small abrasions can quickly turn into severe wounds that sometimes require limb amputations. If you are having problems with your feet or find a sore that doesn’t heal, call your doctor immediately.
- Educate family members. Let your family know about your diabetes so they can help you maintain healthy lifestyle habits. Loved ones can also help monitor your blood sugar levels and examine your feet for sores that are not healing.
- Stay informed. Ask your diabetes care team for publications, recipes, or tips that can help you control your diabetes and improve our lifestyle.
- Identify yourself. Wear a medical alert bracelet or carry an ID card that lets people know you have diabetes in case you become impaired and cannot speak.